What's the used Seat Toledo hatchback like?
There are some cars that sell well in foreign markets, but when a manufacturer brings them over here, something is lost in translation. While the Seat Toledo (the Spanish brand's take on the Skoda Rapid) sells well in Europe, does it make sense in the UK’s highly competitive used car market?
The Toledo is somewhat at odds with the sporty image Seat likes to portray its cars as having, aimed more at the sort of people who want a car that's cheap to run and has a big boot and lots of rear leg room. Natural rivals are therefore the Kia Cee’d and Hyundai i30, as well as the aforementioned Skoda Rapid.
The engine choices on the used market are fairly limited; the majority of examples available come with either a 103bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol, a 103bhp 1.6-litre diesel or a 108bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo petrol that replaced the 1.2.
To drive, the Toledo isn't all that engaging, but it is easy to use, with light and direct steering that makes parking a breeze, plus reasonably good body control that keeps excessive movements in check. This, unfortunately, means that the suspension is on the firm side, so the Toledo thumps into bumps and potholes in an uncouth manner. On diesel models and cars with the 1.0-litre petrol engine, you’ll also feel plenty of engine vibration through the pedals.
On the upside, space in the Toledo is very good. Luggage space is on a par with cars from the class above and the hatchback tail means putting taller items into the back is a straightforward process. If you have older children, the Toledo will cope well, because there's lots of room to allow those with long legs to stretch out. Three abreast will be a struggle, but adults should have no trouble spending time back there.
Likewise, front seat occupants will have few complaints to make, although the absence of adjustable lumbar support might be an issue for some drivers. This was an inexpensive car when new, so this oversight is par for the course.
Since it’s a budget car, the interior is littered with cheap-feeling plastics, whereas a number of rivals, including the i30 and Cee’d, look and feel much better inside. It is all well screwed together, though, so it should last. Just be prepared from some scratched and scuffed plastics, because they mark easily.